Pull around the sisters

Cooking with veggies

So, as many have heard, we are converting from mainly meat eaters, to half time vegetarians. We are still eating small amounts of meat - I'm just trying to plan dinners to be meatless. This is challenging but fun. Certainly no monotony of food here! I am trying something new every night practically.

The kids are up for it I think - I don't like to make the same thing more than once a month so, they are used to a lot of variety.

But, the Spiced Lentils were a bit too far. Vegetarian cooking is challenging when you have 2 kids who don't like beans or lentils, 2 who don't care much for vegetables of any kind and one Mom who doesn't like pasta. But, the Mom is willing to eat anything, the kids are going to adjust and I am getting a lot of use out of my salad shooter!

Tonight was Stuffed Shells. The kids (and parents) loved it! They didn't know that it was a mix of baby eggplant, zucchini, red pepper, ricotta, mozzarella, parmesan and bread crumbs. The Salad shooter basically turned everything into grated mush, I squeezed out the excess water and went from there. They were pretty good and the girls both want them in their school lunch tomorrow! Since I only have one thermos, they'll have to take turns.

Tomorrow we have a meat night (Sloppy Toms) in the crockpot and then Friday is Pizza night!

I miss having people to invite over for dinner, but the kids enjoy getting to completely dominate all dinner conversation at the table. Usually our ears are ringing by the time we start clearing off the table.


Playschool for Katherine

I took Katherine to her first "playschool". The class was so small that they are going to cancel it but, we'll go on a different day so it'll be fine. Today it was just her and the teacher and me. She loved it.

The teacher put paints, paper and brushes in front of her. She very shyly looked at the paints. Then, she very very tentatively put a brush in the paint and drew on the paper. She grinned and then gave me a brush so I could help. After a few minutes of this I think she realized that nobody was going to take it away and she really cheered up. She decided to ditch the brushes and finger paint. She has never finger painted before. It's sad really - I just haven't been up to the mess of 3 girls fingerpainting and am currently out of paints at home. She got very giddy and was laughing and having tons of fun painting her hands and making handprints.

Then it was on to puzzles and books and dolls and other toys. She had so much fun!

We'll go back in a few days to join the other class and share the time with other kids - I hope Katherine enjoys it so much again!

After we had lunch I decided to take my very sleepy girl on a walk. The weather was humid but cool today and she fell asleep within 5 minutes. We had a nice walk, I picked up a coffee and she slept for about an hour in the library. I was able to look around at books without having to watch her constantly. We have a very small local library that is the size of a small store but has an amazing amount of books. I picked up a movie and lots of good books for the kids. We head there about twice a week.

Anna is reading voraciously, about an hour or more a day. She is also doing excellent in school and is more interested in her friends than us. Although she still has a special place in her heart for her sisters. They hug each other before school, all of them. Claire is learning to express herself, loudly. She is also reading and learning so much every day. Katherine is being independent, nicely and not. She does not like confined spaces, too much quiet or playing by herself. And she will not stand to be left out of anything.


Monday, money and missing out

Moms group was today. I am actually not totally wiped out today. It was low key and easy. What a difference from last year for me. I don't know if it is just not having 2 kids home with me or what. We'll see how next week goes when I'm bringing all the kids! (No school for Yom Kippur.)

This is the last week of the month. The "please don't let me spend all the money" week. We started the Magical Super Money Makeover (or something like that) by Dave Ramsey. I tried not to - it just seems to faddish, too "Purpose driven life" for me. But, as the debt was beginning to multiply, we just had to figure out how to handle it.

Turns out it costs money to go to the ER - like maybe my whole deductible!

And I probably should have planned ahead to pay for Matt's Dissertation tuition. Turns out you have to pay whether you write it or not. I don't intend that to sound mean - Matt is working hard on it, just not on paper yet.

And the gift wrap sale is here - ugh. We decided to just give money to the school and not get any of that cr**. Although I should say that there is some very nice, high quality wrapping paper for sale and I would love to hook you up with the school website so you can purchase some! ;)

So, back to Ramsey - he enabled me to finally not overspend my budget this month and to actually have a "budget meeting" with Matt. So, we'll give it a year or so and see where we are at.

Sadly, we are not headed to Colorado for Christmas. I asked Matt to break it to the family, and I'm sure he'll send a nice email sometime but I have got to get it off my mind. For the first time ever in our entire lives, we will not be with our extended family for Christmas. But, we must focus on getting ourselves financially responsible and so, no vacations, no extra spending, no eating out - now you know we are serious. Hopefully it'll be very short term and then we can go back to living it up! (Using only cash of course).

I'll have to expound more another time on the new sensation of using cash, not spending money I don't yet have and watching my bills go down. It is pretty exciting.

I totally need a cheer me up picture now! Looks like it's going to be Katie Mae, 1 year ago.


C Day

I am so proud of her.

She was the teacher of her letter. Since she picked "C", she went first (the teachers did A and B). She had so much fun getting her bag together - filled with things that start with the letter C. And old cell phone, a tiny chair, a CD, a card, etc.

Her teacher said she did great.

Love that girl.


Rough Friday

I feel like I have spent the last 2 days cleaning sheets, mattresses, blankets, etc. I was not prepared for wet beds and did not have the proper protection in place.

The vinegar with baking soda approach was completely unsuccessful. The cat odor cleanup spray seems to have worked. But, where does my child sleep while 2 beds are drying out? Nothing is drying here right now - it's just too humid. The clothes I hung up to dry are starting to mildew.

And then today, after school, we had complete meltdown and I have been screamed at, hit, and told I am hated by both older girls. I would like to let them sleep on peed on beds, fix their own dinner and put themselves to bed.

I know I'm supposed to be above all this, they are just kids, I am in control even if they don't like it. I will not be treated badly so they will spend the whole beautiful afternoon in their rooms and I will joyfully make dinner. But, it still stings a bit.

Blog as therapy.
Tomorrow is Saturday.
God is in control.


Hamburger night

I have tried to start a regular schedule where I make the same thing on certain nights each week.

So, every Friday we're going to have hamburgers and every Saturday we're going to have pizza. You get the idea.

This has totally not worked.

The first Friday is great. The next one is great. The third one is going good - we've got this hamburger thing figured out. But, after that, it just starts to fall apart. I am getting tired of the taste of hamburgers. I don't want to make them anymore. They used to taste so good, now they are just okay. I don't appreciate them or look forward to hamburger night. So, they've gone off the schedule.

I thought about trying to replace it with a spaghetti night but I cannot imagine eating spaghetti every week!

So, I'm back to trying to plan a whole month worth of original meals because someone (namely ME) can't eat the same thing every week and possibly not even more than once a month.